[CalConnect Fall 2007] OMA DS and VCard

Mark Paterson from Oracle is talking about the relationship between OMA DS (the standard formerly known as SyncML) and vCard. We asked the OMA Data Sync group about what the issues are with vCard in that world.

it’s a method for synchronizing contact and calendar information between a handheld device and a computer. You can use it for syncing any data.

OMA doesn’t want to be in the business of defining information payloads – wants to use existing information. For instance, supports vCal and iCal. Supports vCard 2.1 or 3.0. So any problem in vCard affects synchronization.

There are too many Type combination possibilities in vCard. Would be nice if there were a more stringent definition of order of types and possible combinations.

There’s no good way of knowing what a device can store or provide.

There’s no support for enumerating contact methods.

Phone number formats aren’t probably defined, nor are addresses.

Formats for numbers, addresses, date/time stamps aren’t specified enough.

Obsolete methods of communication are supported while new methods are not.

OMA DS would like a Vcard standard that solved these issues (like calsify for vCard) and test suites that help with conformance and interoperability. So if CalConnect could sponsor some vCard exchange events that would probably help.

Despite its problems, vCard has been successful and is supported in lots of places.

Chris is talking about the vCard BOF at the recent IETF. To have a successful working group in the IETF there needs to be one or two chairs. Allowed up to two BOFs to form work. There was quite a bit of interest, but a little short of people with the energy to keep the work happening. He’s looking for the second co-chair. Then charter can be completed and a working group can be formed pretty quickly. Next IETF is first week of December in Vancouver.


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